The 7 Essential Elements Of Link Bait
Link bait is a powerful form of viral content designed to attract large volumes of website traffic, increase Google PageRank, and gain brand exposure.
There's no faster way to generate inbound links from multiple quality sources. Best of all, you won't have to make any cold calls or ask for any favors.
With so many benefits, link baiting is an important consideration for every online business owner's off-page SEO toolkit.
Of course, creating the type of content that people actually want to share takes time and effort. But don't give up hope – the best viral content has seven important elements in common which are easy enough to apply once you've discovered them.
Link bait comes in many forms: a widget or an app, an image or YouTube video, or a great top 10 list, but the real deciding factor in its popularity has less to do with its medium and more to do with its originality.
The Internet is saturated with rehashed versions of the same old information from one blog post to another. Emerging trends or information that takes on an interesting slant gets noticed fast. Original content might take the form of insider secrets or an article that takes old facts and aggregates them with a fresh perspective.
SEO specialists know that relevance is of vital importance in every aspect of search engine optimization, and the main method of gauging relevance is by understanding searcher intent. The same principle is true with viral marketing.
Is an article/image/video directly related to achieving conversion goals, or is it simply interesting in a more general sense? Focus your efforts on catering to quality traffic rather than counting hits. It's better to gain 100 genuinely interested visitors who view your content, click through to your site, and stick around for more, rather than 1 million visitors who view your content once and never come back.
People love content they can put to use in a practical way. The best way to find out what might be useful to your potential clients is to spend some time hanging out in discussion forums and listening to their needs and complaints.
Useful content might take the form of a desktop widget or a free app that performs a helpful function, such as a unit conversion tool or an industry-related glossary. It could also be an infographic containing little-known facts or a downloadable PDF, podcast, or e-book. You don't necessarily have to develop new content – you might take something that's been around for a while (such as a public domain item) and be the first to present it in a more accessible medium.
It's a simple fact: People are much more apt to share content that makes them look good in some way. With a little bit of creativity, you can use turn this basic human instinct into loads of backlinks. For instance, you might target an intellectual segment of your market with a fact-heavy PDF or an academic lecture. Others can be won over with something as simple as a funny article they can share with their friends on Facebook for a good laugh.
The best link bait generates discussion. This kind of content often takes a stance on a divisive issue within the industry; however, use tact and be careful not to alienate or offend the very people you're trying to convert.
A safer approach might be to highlight breaking industry news, or simply to create something bizarre enough that people can't help but say something about it. A review of the most popular Internet memes can provide a valuable source of inspiration in this regard. An added benefit of discussion-generating content is that it continues to market itself, translating to less work for you and more visibility for your business.
Eye-catching photographs and other visual content tend to do well as viral content, so invest your resources in top-notch design, code, and graphics so you can stand out above all the competition.
If your link bait is text-based, take the time to craft an intriguing or authoritative title that encourages people to click, such as "5 Ways Your Website Layout Is Sabotaging Your Business."
Viral content is only viral because people share it. You can facilitate sharing in a number of ways by installing various social media widgets, sharing embeddable code, or uploading an app to the App Store.
Finally, don't forget to optimize your link bait the same way you would optimize your website or blog. Take advantage of the opportunity to rank for valuable keywords if possible, and always keep customer intent foremost in mind.
You can market your content using social media profiles, press releases, PPC campaigns, and guest posting. Get creative, and enjoy the ride.
Founder and CEO at FullTraffic. Passionate about Search Engine Marketing and Optimization, regular writer for the FullTraffic Blog. Since 2005, FullTraffic has evolved to become one of the most important Traffic providers worldwide for small to medium sized businesses.
Category: Getting More Web Traffic |